Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 18, Issue 6, pp 601–612

Psychological reactance and its relationship to normal personality variables


  • Edmund Thomas Dowd
    • Kent State University
  • Fred Wallbrown
    • Kent State University
  • Daniel Sanders
    • Kent State University
  • Janice M. Yesenosky
    • Kent State University

DOI: 10.1007/BF02355671

Cite this article as:
Thomas Dowd, E., Wallbrown, F., Sanders, D. et al. Cogn Ther Res (1994) 18: 601. doi:10.1007/BF02355671


This study investigated the dimensions of normal personality style associated with psychological reactance. Participants consisted of 326 graduate and undergraduate students. They took the California Psychological Inventory—Revised, the Therapeutic Reactance Scale (TRS), and the Fragebogen zur Messung der psychologischen Reactanz (Questionnaire for the Measurement of Psychological Reactance). Results showed that the reactant individual has a personality style characterized by having a lack of interest in making a good impression on others, being somewhat careless about meeting obligations, being less tolerant of other's beliefs, resisting rules and regulations, being more concerned about problems and worried about the future, and being more inclined to express strong feelings and emotions. Separate analyses by sex on the TRS suggested that reactant women had a personality style that was more decisive, more sociable, and more self-assured than nonreactant women. Conversely, reactant individuals tended to be more concerned with problems and the future than did nonreactant individuals, although this difference did not appear for the subsample of women only.

Key words

psychological reactancepersonality style

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1994